Reasons Why Your Old Pitbull is Not Eating and How to Manage It!

What would you feel if your old Pitbull not have an eagerness to eat? Worried? Frustrated? Well, as a pet parent that’s a normal reaction. But, as a responsible pet owner, you should need to have an idea why your old dog is not eating. You need to deal with it immediately as possible.

There are lots of reasons why your old dog is not eating. It is important for you as a pet owner to have a knowledge about it. Determining the cause is very crucial to identify the best treatment plan for your Pitbull’s condition.

Here, we will give you information and some possible reasons why your old dog is not eating. Helpful tips and things to do in order to manage your Pitbull’s behavior in eating is also here to enlighten you about this condition of your dog.

Reasons why your old Pitbull is not eating

Anorexia is a health condition in dogs which describe their complete loss of appetite. This is somewhat different from anorexia nervosa which tends to be an eating disorder in humans.

Loss of dog’s appetite or the behavior of not eating may result from the following reasons:

1. Illness

Reduced appetite in Pitbulls is most likely a sign of sickness, especially if other symptoms occur at the same time. Anorexia in Pitbulls does not indicate a serious disease, however, it may be a sign of significant illness. This includes cancer, systemic infections, pain, liver problems, and kidney failure. So, it is very crucial to seek a prompt medical advice.

2. Dental disease

Your Pitbull sometimes lose their appetite because they experience some pain in their mouth. Reasons for this pain might include a broken or loose tooth, severe gingivitis, and even an oral tumor. Scheduling your Pitbull for a dental check-up might help.

3. Vaccination

There are variety of vaccination available for your Pits that could address many contagious dog diseases. Even these can save the lives of numbers of pets, vaccination, like in humans, sometimes have an adverse effects in dogs. A temporary loss of appetite is one of the adverse effects of these injections.

4. Travel and unfamiliar surroundings

Some Pitbulls may get motion sickness during traveling, and there are some that becomes anxious and uncomfortable in new places. When you notice that your Pitbull suddenly lose his appetite after a trip or moved to a new location, that would be a reason why your old dog is not eating.

5. Picky eating

There are Pitbulls that are also picky in eating their dog food. They refuse to eat because they are not comfortable in the method of feeding. Some Pitbulls won’t eat from a bowl at uncomfortable height. Others won’t eat when there is an aggressive dog around the eating area. But, never assume this behavior issues of your Pitbull is the number one cause of his loss of appetite without investigating other possibilities. Keep in mind that a decreased appetite of your Pitbull may be due to an illness.

6. Decreased activity

It is very noticeable that older Pitbulls are less active and they have a lower metabolism. As a result of this, they don’t tend to eat that much.

7. Stress

This is not only applicable to humans but may also be applicable to dogs that stress is an appetite killer. The older your Pitbull, the more stress they have. Haven’t able to see or hear or having pain and body aches contribute to stress in your Pitbull. Immediately check your Pits if there are any signs of pain or physical injuries once you notice that he lose his appetite. Also, better to keep your dog’s environment a stress-free place as possible.

8. Cognitive dysfunction

It is found that older Pitbulls with cognitive dysfunction may also eat less or even not at all. Sometimes, they may forget eating. Or, there are times that they do not know where to go to eat.

9. Diet changes

Another possible reason why your old dog is not eating is due to diet modification. Maybe you switched his dog food recently and he probably do not like what you’re feeding to him right now. Moreover, feeding your old Pits with the same food every day, he might got bored with it and might not eat it at all.

10. Digestive problem

An old Pitbull may have experience that his digestive system is not working well. If this is the case, your old Pitbull may suffer from issues like indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and many more.

∗ Other health issues

There are other serious health concerns commonly seen in older dogs that may contribute to your Pitbull’s loss of appetite. This includes the following:

√ Congestive heart failure

√ Kidney failure

√ Liver disease

√ Pancreatic problem

√ Arthritis

√ Cancer

11. Food issues

Make sure that there is not something wrong with the food your old Pitbull is eating. It might be a reason why he stopped eating. Check for the expiry date in the label. Also check the color and the smell. Don’t give the food to your Pitbull if you think that it is already spoiled. Offer him something new.

Consider the food ingredients as well. Possible reason why your old dog is not eating dog food is because they might be sensitive to some of its content. Also, take note of the temperature of the food that you are feeding to your Pitbull. Too hot or too cold food may lead your old dog not eating dog food.

How to find out why your old Pitbull won’t eat

It takes several reasons why your old dog is not eating. But, there are also some steps to find out why your pooch won’t eat. Here are some steps that you might consider trying.

• Observe your Pitbull’s behavior

Don’t eating anything and don’t eating some types of dog food is a two different thing. Check if your old Pits won’t eat anything or just won’t eat some types of food. Also, observe if your Pitbull won’t drink water as well. If this is noticeable, immediately make an appointment with a veterinarian.

Pay attention to any changes in your Pitbull’s daily routine and see if he is behaving the same as before. Take in consideration their stool and urine as well. It is good to let your Pitbull skip a meal or two if all is normal with his behavior. But, if vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and dehydration occurs consult your veterinarian immediately.

• Check your Pitbull’s teeth and body

Look for broken, lose teeth or inflamed gums as this may be the reason why your old dog is not eating. Try also to check your old Pitbull’s body for the presence of any parasites, changes in his skin and coat, and any signs of injuries or lumps. Seek the advice of a medical professional if there is something suspicious.

• Check the environment

Another thing to take into consideration is that your old Pits may ate something that they shouldn’t have. Better check your plants, carpets, their chew toys, and any items that they have access to. Be mindful and take extra caution if there are medications or chemicals within the reach of your pooch. If something is missing and your dog exhibit vomiting or diarrhea, seek veterinarian’s advice right away.

• Examine your actions

Also take into account your actions towards your Pitbull. Maybe you are feeding them with table scraps or giving them a lot of treats. If yes, then they might not be hungry at all. Or perhaps, they are waiting for something more palatable like chunks of what you eat or an additional doggy treats.

• Left home alone

Most old dog is not eating dog food when they are home alone. This may be due to separation anxiety or they feel that they have to guard the house until such time that you get back. So they forget to eat at all.

What to do if your old Pitbull is not eating

It is always a must that when it comes to any medical issues, consult and seek for a professional advice of your veterinarian. However, here are some helpful information that might help you manage your old dog not eating dog food.

Solving Food-Related Issues

Some of the suggested solutions in solving the food-related issues are very simple to implement. Take a look below.

New Food


→ Switch gradually to new food

→ Go back to old food

Lower quality food


Try to get better food

Different food taste or smell


Find out what taste and smell your dog likes

Less or more fatty food


Choose an option for with similar nutritional value when switching a dog food.

Switch from home-cooked food to kibble or other pet food


Mix new food with home-cooked food and slowly make the transition or go back to home cooked if possible

Spoiled food


Replace with something new

Sensitive to a food ingredient


Choose food without the ingredient your dog is sensitive to.

Same food for a long time


→ Mix things up every once in a while

→ Add plain meat baby food, some cooked veggies, a dollop od unsweetened plain yogurt or a homemade unsalted chicken broth to your old dog’s regular food.

→ Sprinkle a bit of grated or powdered cheese on top of their food.

Hot or cold food


Make sure the food is the right temperature for your dog.

Dealing with Environmental and Behavioral Concerns

This one is a little more stressful and a bit time-consuming. However, the following are some general tips for helping your old Pitbull to eat regularly:

→ Have your Pitbull enough exercise and attention

→ Be patient and supportive to your pooch, do not punish if your old dog is not eating dog food.

→ Only give treats to your Pits as a reward

→ Avoid giving table scraps

→ Invest some time and money to train your Pits

Rule Out Disease

Several health issues are linked why old dogs is not eating dog food. It is very crucial and as a responsible pet parent, do not ever try and guess the root of your dog’s loss of appetite. Better to have an appointment with a veterinarian to seek for a medical advice.

Try Some Herbs

To entice your Pitbull to eat, there are herbs that are very useful to dogs in some couple of ways. Herbs can be very useful in stimulating the dog’s appetite. Many dogs like the smell of the aromatic culinary herbs like peppermint, parsley, fennel, basil, alfalfa, and many more. Sprinkle any of those herbs over your Pitbull’s food. This way, it may entice their appetite.

There are also herbs that are good for the digestive system and helps to enhance digestion. Lemon balm is an herb that has a calming effect and reduces gas and bloating. Try to sprinkle this over your dog’s food if he is not eating due to stress.

Proper Supplementation

Pitbulls with a loss of appetite due to sluggish digestive system may benefit from supplementation of digestive enzymes and probiotics. This is also very beneficial for older dogs that are unable to produce enough enzymes for food digestion. On the other hand, probiotics help to balance the beneficial bacteria in your Pitbull’s guts and aid digestion.

Try Essential Oils

There are essential oils that can stimulate appetite, this includes sweet orange, lemon, and petitgrain to name a few. Try to diffuse one or combination of these oils in the room for about 20 to 30 minutes before meal time. Or simply add 5 to 6 drops of the oils to 15 ml of water and mix in a spray bottle. This way you can use this as a spray so that your old Pit would smell it.

Increase Activity Level

Old Pitbulls are not that active anymore like the younger ones. For your old Pits to be able to eat more, they should be hungry. And for them to get hungry, they need to be more active and use up those calories.

However, due to variety of health issues like arthritis, back problems, heart conditions, and more, old Pits are not that active. But, you can elevate the activity of your Pitbull gradually without experiencing any difficulty. An extra 5 minutes walk to his daily routine can help to increase his activity level.

Increasing the activity level doesn’t only pertains to physical activity. Even a mental agility, exposure to interactive toys or a 5-minute training session per day can help a lot.


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One Comment

  1. I had no idea that a dog losing their appetite could signify that they have an underlying illness that needs attention. I heard that my brother plans to adopt a puppy but he’s not sure how to take care of dogs. It might be a good idea to look around for a local vet that’ll know how to deal with pet emergencies along with lost appetite.

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